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New Email with Attachments in Mountain Lion

In this article I will show you how to create a keyboard shortcut that will enable you to automate the process of creating a new email with the selected file(s) as an attachment. In the prior version of OS X (10.7) Lion there was a useful service that performed this function. Unfortunately Apple removed this in OS X (10.8) Mountain Lion. I will show you how you can recreate it using Automator.

Automator is an application that ships with OS X that enables users to create drag and drop workflows for automating repetitive tasks. Using Automator you can create system wide services that can be triggered by a keyboard shortcut or from the Application’s services submenu.

Creating the service in Automator

Open the Automator Application from the Applications folder (or just type Automator in the Spotlight search bar and press enter).

In the Choose a type for your document Window, select Service as the new document type and then click Choose.

Automator Choose Service

Then under Service receives selected drop-down select files or folders and leave in any application selected.

Then from the Library panel on the right, select Mail and drag the action New Mail Message to the workflow window.

Automator Workflow Build

From the File Menu choose Save and call the service New email with Attachments.

New email with Attachments

Ensure that Mail is the default Mail Reader

Open the Mail from the Applications folder or Dock (or just type Mail in the Spotlight search bar and press enter).

Open the mail Preferences window  Mail > Preferences then select the General tab. Make sure Mail is in the Default Mail reader drop down.

General

Creating the Keyboard Shortcut

Now go to your system preferences folder  > System Preferences, and select keyboard, then keyboard shortcuts.

Keyboard

Click on Services and you should see the new service that you created – New email with Attachments. Click on the button that says Add shortcut and enter the shortcut that you want – I used ⇧⌘E.

To run the service select any file(s) in the finder and hit the keyboard shortcut ⇧⌘E. OS X will create a new email with the selected files as an attachment(s).

I have created a video showing the whole process.

Keyboard Shortcuts for New Email with Attachments from Productivity Orchard on Vimeo.

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